This could be the ideal small phone

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

A change is coming to the phone industry.

The time has come for phone makers to get rid of the large bezels around the screen that used to be an inevitable part of a phone. No more wasted space.

First it was the experimental Xiaomi Mi Mix, a device made to be sold in limited quantities and available only in China, but impressive nonetheless. And of course, we have already seen the LG G6: the innovative LG flagship phone features an 80% screen-to-body ratio and will soon go on sale, amidst very positive reviews. And it’s an impressively small phone for its screen size.

But what if we could apply the same ‘full-screen, no-bezel’ formula to a truly compact device?


After all, Apple launched a 4-inch phone in 2016 and a lot of people seem to buy it. So what if we could have the same form factor and physical size, yet a larger display.

Such an imaginary phone does seem possible. The key is that it will use a taller display with the new 2:1 resolution that is getting adopted by LG and is expected to be used on the Galaxy S8.

Enticed by the idea, we have drawn some sketches to see what the screen size would be for a ‘full-screen, no-bezel phone’ with the size of an iPhone SE / 5s, and we’ve got some interesting news to share.

You could theoretically fit a 4.7-inch screen in a body the size of the iPhone SE, with the increase in size coming almost solely from the increased height of the display and using a new, 2:1 aspect ratio.


This more efficient use of space would require some profound changes to the user interface: after all, we all know that the camera defaults to shooting in a 4:3 aspect ratio and most videos are in a 16:9 ratio, so there would be wasted space and letterboxing. This sounds like a limitation, but it is also an opportunity for Apple to design around and create a possible useful, TouchBar-like aspect of iOS.


Keep in mind that the typing experience would still feel like that on a 4” phone: the width of the display will not change much after all, so keyboard letters would still be tiny. And since we do not have a proportional enlargement of the display, numbers like 4" and 4.7" could be misleading. Since we are dealing with two totally different aspect ratios, the areas of a 4" and a 4.7" display are not in the same proportion as their screen diagonal size, the actual difference in screen area is less pronounced, in a lesser proportion. This is an important point, as one might forget about the difference in aspect ratios.

But despite all of these challenges that would need to be addressed, the idea of a truly compact device with a bezel-less screen is something I am personally fascinated with. Not all people want a giant phone, and this could be the perfect one-handed phone for those who value compact devices.

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23 Comments

1. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Oh my god. It's an iPhone.

23. Victor.H

Posts: 1099; Member since: May 27, 2011

It's a small phone with a bezel-less display.

2. Lenny86

Posts: 301; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Hope in this but will never happen,maybe from apple only.Manufacturers think everyone wants tablets on oled tv-s in their pocket,dont know why.

15. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

It's why I switched to iPhone. No regrets. Should've done it sooner.

3. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and just a while ago someone posted article about how 2:1 ratio isn't that great with black bar on videos... and, I'm not a fans of small phone.. 5.5" screen is a minimum for me..

9. Mixkhata1

Posts: 162; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

I believe manufacturers should just minimize bezels all around without resorting to unusual aspects like 2:1. I mean, every movie and tv series in my collection is native 16:9. So, what's the point of having a large 2:1 display if it can't be used to watch movies without black bars? I REALLY don't like this trend. And to me 2:1 is a gimmick.

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I remember back in the day 16:9 started to be commercialized many said same thing as you say now.. Funny no?

20. techbuttcheex

Posts: 205; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

2:1 is a terrible idea. It looks ridiculous. The whole point of a bezel free design should be to make the phone smaller.

17. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

actually, if we are to view 16:9 contents on an AMOLED screen in the dark or a phone that have a dark glass overlayed on the screen like the Lumia 730, you'll not notice the bars. so it might be a problem on the LG G6 but not really a Problem on the S8 or if Lumia 730 had a 2:1 ratio screen.

4. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Bezels are needed to install more components and protect the phone from potential damages when it drops by accident. I don't mind bezels if it's in an acceptable range.

6. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

The reason Xperia phones have so much bezel is due to working with more precise angling techniques with cameras. You cannot use certain angling techniques if your fingers or palm are firing off touch inputs.

5. RAV4CAD

Posts: 96; Member since: May 03, 2016

It's not an iphone without those bezels.,..

7. libra89

Posts: 2317; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah that would be nice. As long as I can use it one handed without strain, I'm good.

8. Joms_US

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

Dream on iTard, dream on....

10. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Wow what an innovative thought im thrilled.

11. miketer

Posts: 541; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Hey, great idea.

12. Danini1112

Posts: 70; Member since: Jun 22, 2013

Or you can buy the S8, is simple as that.

13. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

We need more shameless Apple plugs like we need more Kardashian gossip.

19. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

I agree. We haven't seen enough S8 "leaks"

16. dimas

Posts: 3422; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Not 2:1 ratio but 4.7" phones with small bezels have been done before: https://www.google.com.ph/amp/m.gsmarena.com/docomos_sharp_aquos_compact_aquos_zeta_have_razorsharp_bezels-amp-14257.php If you want 2:1 4+ inches display, manufacturers should play with a screen of 5.5cm length and 11cm height. There you go sony I'm giving you the size for your next compact phone and maybe if you're not too conservative, release x compact in my country because your z5 compact camera is too buggy.

18. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

my thought exactly! I kept wondering that since manufacturers want to adopt this new bezel-less 2:1 aspect ratio for bigger screens, why make the same size of the phone with a much bigger screen when what they suppose to really do is reduce the device size?

21. tokuzumi

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I know this will never happen, but I want a phone that size, with a 5" screen.

22. vessk0

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 12, 2016

This is my dream phone!!!

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